Writing

“There are two types of writers: those who make you think and those who make you dream” says Brian Aldiss, who made me dream for such a long time with his science-fiction books. In principle I believe that every human being on this planet has at least one good story to tell his neighbor. What follows are my reflections on some important items in the process of creating a text:

Above all else, the writer has to be a good reader. The kind that sticks to academic texts and does not read what others write (and here I’m not just talking about books but also blogs, newspaper columns and so on) will never know his own qualities and defects.

So, before starting anything, look for people who are interested in sharing their experience through words. I’m not saying: “look for other writers”. What I say is: find people with different skills, because writing is no different from any other activity that is done with enthusiasm.

Your allies will not necessarily be those that everyone looks on with admiration and says: “there’s nobody better”. It’s very much the opposite: it’s people who are not afraid of making mistakes, and yet they do make mistakes. That is why their work is not always recognized. But that’s the type of people who change the world, and after many mistakes they manage to get something right that will make all the difference in their community.

These are people who cannot sit around waiting for things to happen before they decide on the best way to narrate them: they decide as they act, even knowing that this can be very risky.

Living close to these people is important for writers, because they need to understand that before putting anything down on paper, they should be free enough to change direction as their imagination wanders. When a sentence comes to an end, the writer should tell himself: “while I was writing I traveled a long road. Now I can finish this paragraph in the full awareness that I have risked enough and given the best of myself.”

The best allies are those who don’t think like the others. That’s why, while you are looking for your companions, trust your intuition and don’t pay any attention to others’ remarks. People always judge others using the model of their own limitations – and at times the opinion of the community is full of prejudices and fears.

Join those who have never said: “it’s finished, I have to stop here”. Because just as winter is followed by spring, nothing comes to an end: after reaching your objective, you have to start again, always using all that you have learnt on the way.

Join those who sing, tell stories, enjoy life and have happiness in their eyes. Because happiness is contagious and always manages to keep people from being paralyzed by depression, loneliness and troubles.

And tell your story, even if it’s only for your family to read.

Comments

  1. rahman says:

    hi i am rahman.i read your book.i really enjoy that book,it’s interesting i like your book.thanks….

  2. Thu Nguyen says:

    Dear Mr. Paulo,

    For me, there are three types of writers: those who make you think, those who make you dream and those who make you write. You’re the one who can accelerate all three characters in me.
    I’ve been literally in coma for such a long time so it means lovely freedom when I could talk again, at least to myself.
    Thank you is not enough….

  3. Jane Stewart says:

    Your long hair has been cut or is folded into the collar area of your clothing; in deep thought, wonder. Perhaps a little tired today? Safe journey! Reflecting, thoughtful, Another universe unfolds, Some things seen, felt with the heart. Balance, between worlds. I look at the sign: ‘Don’t forget to write!’ A common phrase in my country, usually meant as a ‘bon voyage’…gentle reminder to stay in touch when a loved one goes on a journey. (at one time, writing letters or sending postcards was the only form of communication) The dreamer.

    So many blessings, grateful.

    With Gratitude,
    Love and Blessings,
    Jane xo

  4. Jandira de Almeida says:

    Olá caro amigo!
    Bom espero poder considera-lo sempre assim como um amigo mesmo com a distancia e com mundo real em que vivemos nos entrando apenas nas linhas do pensar, sentir e aprender.
    Olha sempre dou uma espiadinha ou seja olhadinha nas coisas que post e escreve e não mudei não minha forma de pensar e sentir pelo escritor e pessoa que és sem querer puxar saco mas dizer o que realmente penso.Poxa legal o que escreveu;Seus aliados não serão necessariamente aquelas pessoas que todos olham, se deslumbram, e afirmam: “não há ninguém melhor”. It’s very much the opposite: it’s people who are not afraid of making mistakes, and yet they do make mistakes. É bem o contrário: é gente que não tem medo de errar, e ainda assim eles cometem erros. That is why their work is not always recognized. É por isso que o seu trabalho nem sempre é reconhecido. But that’s the type of people who change the world, and after many mistakes they manage to get something right that will make all the difference in their community. Mas esse é o tipo de pessoas que mudam o mundo, e depois de muitos erros que consegue acertar algo que fará toda a diferença em sua comunidade. Achei este trecho interessante por isto colei e resolvi postar este comentário; As pessoas subjulgam umas as outras a ponto de substima-las pelas suas condiçoes sociais e seus status e isto vem também não só da elite mas também de suburbanos mesmo(risos.)Muitos se declaram pobres e humildes mas suas arrogancias e suas pobrezas nada tem haver com suas questões sociais e seus status perante a sociedade o ser humano não olha pra dentro do outro ser humano porque não tem visão do sentido real da palavra amor, compaixão, caridade, misericordia e etc e tal.Abraço Jandira de Almeida

  5. Steven Painter says:

    I am a young man and the desperation to fulfill my own personal legend, at times, hangs from my mind as a stone and with it seems to hold both the struggle of the search and the light of the discovery. I am so full of passion and yet it remains buried, not knowing where its place is and how it can channel through me. I don’t know how to bring my passions to the surface and this brings me great sadness. I know that only I can find my way but to read the thoughts of such an incedible warrior allows my passion to breath for a moment in the eternal light. I love everthing that surrounds me and to become the Warrior that I dream of becoming seems closer than ever now that the world has guided me to you.

    Thank you for your thoughts and thank you for your Wisdom

    Warmest regards

    Steven John Painter

  6. jeeva says:

    Starting Over.

    :)

  7. Dracula says:

    “There are two types of writers: those who make you think and those who make you dream”. I’d like to be the writer who can both make a reader dream and think. To me, I write so that I may be able to let my imagination go loose, and also write with the hope that my words would set my readers imagination on fire, somehow.

    1. Harry Poteraround says:

      you can count on that.

  8. Talita says:

    Ahhh… Doo, doo, doo, do-doh

    Don’t you wonder sometimes / ‘Bout sound and vision

    Blue, blue, electric blue / That’s the colour of my room
    Where I will live / Blue, blue
    Pale blinds drawn all day / Nothing to do,
    Nothing to say / Blue, blue

    I will sit right down,
    Waiting for the gift of sound and vision
    And I will sing, waiting for the gift of sound and vision
    Drifting into my solitude, over my head

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdxIhNOgwBE

    (…)

    I spent a lot of my time looking at blue,
    The colour of my room and my moon:
    Blue on the walls, blue out of my mouth;
    The sort of blue between clouds, when the sun comes out,
    The sort of blue in those eyes you get hung up about.

    When that feeling of meaninglessness sets in,
    Go blowing my mind on God:
    The light in the dark, with the neon arms,
    The meek He seeks, the beast He calms,
    The head of the good soul department.

    I see myself suddenly on the piano, as a melody.
    My terrible fear of dying no longer plays with me,
    For now I know that I’m needed for the symphony.

    I spent a lot of my time looking at blue–
    No wonder that I blue it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sySgoCy0_AM

    Abraços Paulo!

    P.S.: A little digression:

    I associate love with red,
    The colour of my heart when she’s dead; <—(O_O)
    (figuratively… I hope!)
    Red in my mind when the jealousy flies,
    Red in my eyes from emotional ties,
    Manipulation, the danger signs.

    "12/03 Love is joy. Don't convince yourself that suffering is part of it."

    P.S.2: Looking forward to "Writing – II"!

  9. Ilva Asote says:

    - You will teach me.
    – No.
    – You has to teach me.
    – No.
    – I’m strong.
    – No.
    – Yes. You will teach me. I swear to you!
    (…)
    – Then prove to me that I’m your teacher.
    – I will!
    – …mathematically!

    >>>

    Teachers can be very different. Visible, invisible… I don’t worry of this since I have my mirror. —- Do not know how it happened, but somehow one of my teachers refused to show me his face; then I begged him to show me his eyes…

    http://www.cas.sc.edu/relg/undergrad/images/photos/swayambhunath.jpg
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swayambhunath

    How monkeys see the world hanging upside down?
    And how is that to be many but ONE?
    (A)lice.

    Ask to monks and they will tell you that on each of the four sides of the main stupa, a pair of big eyes belong to Buddha. Ask it to the mathematician L.Carroll and probably he will say to you: “Buddha? Ha! What a nonsense!”

    >>>

    …Once I had to choose 5 letters from 26 and to ”create” two dreamers… I created. Since that day every day and every night is like a story. — This night is strange. One of the rare nights when in the face of the Angel I can see a little sadness AND a little peace…

    1. Ilva Asote says:

      Today the Angel arrived from the river Piedra with the glass and some oranges… The same oranges Abbot Burkhard tossed in front of Our Lady and the baby Jesus… He [Angel] asked if I could make some fresh and tasty orange juice… Of course! Here it is —> http://twitpic.com/177gnj

  10. James Chapman says:

    Thank you, Paulo for an inspiring post which has provided me with my motivation today!

    I have a personal passion for writing and spend a vast amount of time as an avid reader of other people’s work. Mainly because of the book reviews that I do and the top ten book lists that I produce.

    James

  11. Claudia Mink says:

    You move me.. and your words ring true like a crystal bell. I believe also a writer has to be a good reader willing to hear the heart as it follows the body in the halls of words.

    1. Marie-christine says:

      Like the way you write .you’ve left a print on my heart 2. merci Claudia

  12. Sanaz says:

    Dear Paulo,
    Yes! I experienced this: “That’s why, while you are looking for your companions, trust your intuition and don’t pay any attention to others’ remarks. People always judge others using the model of their own limitations.” That is why I stopped writing.

  13. ROMANO MOHAMED says:

    HELLO
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH MR. PAULO COELHO FOR YOUR ENCOURAGING WORDS ,FULL OF INSPIRATION ,

    YOUR WORDS ALWAYS INSPIRE ME AND PUT MY SPIRIT HIGH.
    YOU MAKE ME LIVE MY DREAM (AS IN YOUR STORY “aLKHIMIST” VVAAAAUUUUUUUUU WHAT A STORY…)

    LIKE IN THIS STORY REALLY HAPPENED TO ME IN MY REAL LIFE
    IN MY SEARCH FOR “MY DREAM” I. UNAWARE OF THIS, TRAVELLED TO AFRICA AND I ENTERED IN MAROCCO IN MEKNES(JUST THIS DIFFERS ME FROM YOUR HERO HA HA HA ) IT IS REALLY AMAZING ….
    AND ON THE STREET OF MEKNES I MET “MY FUTURE WIFE” WITH WHOM I AM NOW REALLY MARRIED

    WE MUST FOLLOW OUR DREAMS IF WE WANT BE HAPPY .wE MUST ”
    ” LIKE “AN EAGLE”

    “EAGLES”

    Perhaps, you know anecdote: about young eagle. I read this story six years ago in a book titled ‘Awareness’. The author of the spiritual book is Indian “Anthony de Mello”. Listen to this story with an open heart:
    “Someone found an eagle egg and he put it in a chicken nest. The young eagle was born together with other young chickens, and he was growing up with them. All of his life, the eagle was doing the same things the other chickens were doing. He was just running like the other chickens on the ground, and he was eating worms and flies, he never flew. Years past and the eagle was becoming older and older. One day, he was watching the great bird in the sky which was flying easily over the brightly sky with great elegance. The bird was going with stream of the air, and he was waving sometimes with its great golden wings. The Old eagle was watching this bird with respect and fear in the same time.
    “Who is this?” he asked.
    The neighbor answered: “this bird is an eagle”. This great bird belongs to the highly sky, we belong to the ground, we are chickens.
    So, this chicken-eagle was living the whole life as a chicken, and it died as a chicken. Because it believed all the time that it was a chicken.
    We are exactl

    FRUIT OF LOVE

    How did I come from The Soul of The World into The World of human Souls? Listen to this story with an open Heart. My father will provide you with words and explanations . Be careful ,those are just words ; perhaps you have heard about » A Little Prince«. He is as small as I am and he is my friend (because all the children regardless color of the skin , regardless anything are friends with each other) and he says :« The essence is not visible to the eyes ,but we can feel it with our Heart.«
    Let s us try to look beyond words and beyond explanations of adults, try to look into the world of Heart ,into the world of children and you will be able to understand everything- without so much as blinking.
    My Mother Aicha –black Muslim woman was not able to speak ,nor to understand Slovenian language of my Father s Romano-white Christian and my father neither spoke ,nor understood Arabic language of my mother at the time of their encounter.
    They just had met the first time on the streets of Meknes , everything was leaded by God-Allah or pure Love.
    Love just happens , when our Heart is open and willing to accept the precious gift of God.
    My father told me ,how he proposed my Mother. Waiting for the translater, who has been late, he just had knelt before my Mother and pointed with the finger at the front cover of the book of a Fairy tale. .There was a picture of a Prince kneeling before Princess, proposing her. Elhamdollilah (thanks God) my Mother understood the language of fairies and said :YES.
    Love is capable to realize itself- without so much as blinking. And the fruit of Love am I , a little baby girl of ten month of age Malak –Zala.
    Love is a mistery .LOVE IS MIRACLE..

    BEST WISHES AND REGARDS

    ROMANO.MOHAMED

  14. octobershine says:

    wow! Thank you for inspiring the heart of a writer within us. I believe each one of us has a great and unique story to tell.

  15. Cristina says:

    And there’s also another kind of writer:the one who make you live.
    I mean, you live not only because you breathe, but also because, while breathing, you are conscious that “you are somenone, doing something and going somewhere”.
    You belong to the thrid kind Paulo, (I like the third).
    Love.
    Chris

  16. katie says:

    “And tell your story, even if it’s only for your family to read.”

    I wonder whether it is just important to have a “gut feeling,” i.e., just the wish to start to write or do any art …?
    it looks to me that the purpose can change over time :o). currently, writing gives me a lot of comfort in a troubled time. thought never of this.

    yeah, everybody has to tell a story and is a story. it is a realm in which we all can meet and feel connected to each other whether we tell it with words, colors, songs, or dances.

    reading writing-1, I enjoy again and again, the playful description. it is such a colorful description. it is painting with words.

    -k
    “if you want to paint, close the eyes and sing.”
    ~Pablo Picasso.

  17. Melisa says:

    Thanks very much for sharing these very precious and inspiring words. I especially agree with and particularly liked this one:

    “The best allies are those who don’t think like the others.”

  18. marianez says:

    want to thank you for inspiring me to pursue my writing skill. to think i graduated in medical field. i didn’t have any activities or any writing lessons that i joined. but i really love to write. i really love to express my thoughts, feelings through writing. the odd point is that, i never had any guts of posting my writings, or do blogging. i just keep it in my files. I am overcome by my fears of committing any errors in which myself can not see. Afraid of what people can say negatively with my writings.

    yesterday, i saw this blog and read it! and there, so many realizations. thanks so much for enlightenment. I want to be a very good writer. i want to write so many things.

    have a good day to you.

  19. katy says:

    I loved this post!
    I think writing is a full art!
    Writing makes me feel free, is like a therapy for my soul. =)
    I love to write little things, but I only do it to myself. I wonder if sometime I will be able to show it to someone else…anyways even though I write in private I like to improve it everyday…so thanks for this advices.

  20. Taly says:

    Paulo
    Gracias por darme una gran leccion de vida!! Seguire escribiendo ,seguire siendo feliz y disfrutando de todo lo que me rodea!!

  21. Kriskulur says:

    It helped me a lot,since I startd to see myself as writer..Its been tough..Here in lndia my age group teens just cant accept what I write..This article has given me courage to portray myself as a writer among my peers..

  22. vicky says:

    …Today I updated my thoughts :-),
    elaborated in words they picture this,

    I came to think of how children hate the taste of bitter
    and as we grow older we start to cultivate bitterness.

    Extraordinary
    being about finding the extra ‘in’ the ordinary.

    Being nuts about
    being about believing, being challanged by, finding the
    nuts within the nutshell.

    The pep of the pip in the pit
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBiPQiz780 (video with an interesting note) …

    Lots of love,

    Vicky

    1. I enjoy reading your posts Vicky, and agree with your comments about the taste of bitter. Children do not know bitter, you are right. Whatever is, is, and might well be a challenge to overcome…but nothing is impossible! Oh gosh I hope I will never know that ending to my own life either. Off now, to watch the video you shared.
      Used to think too, of being a nut…hoping that whomever decided to become a friend, was not allergic to nuts ; )

      Thank you again, Love, Jane : ) xo

    2. vicky says:

      Dear Jane, thank you, glad what I wrote made some
      sense ;-) :o). By the way Jane, I love the name
      you’ve chosen ‘Dances with crayons’, sounds very
      joyful and swinging…

      Lots of love,

      Vicky